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Verizon to trumpet 5G in all-digital CES 2021 keynote

The first keynote presentation will come from Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg will give the kickoff keynote speech at CES 2021, the Consumer Technology Association said Thursday. The keynote presentation will focus on 5G and how it will impact telemedicine and education, a relevant topic given this year's sudden transition to working and learning at home amid the coronavirus pandemic

The CTA already announced in late July that CES 2021 will be an all-digital event, instead of attracting up to 200,000 people to Las Vegas per usual.

"Verizon's keynote for CES will demonstrate the vital role that mobility, broadband and cloud ... has played in connecting the world this year and how the accelerated shift to 5G is transforming every industry," Vestberg said in a statement. "This time in history is redefining the meaning of connectivity for consumers, industries and society."

The CTA also said Thursday that it's pushing the conference back by a week. Instead of happening the first full week of January, CES 2021 will run from Monday, Jan. 11, through Thursday, Jan. 14.

CES 2020, which took place in Vegas in early January, was one of the last major tech events to maintain a physical presence before the pandemic changed everything. A month later, organizers of Mobile World Congress canceled the Barcelona show due to the spread of the coronavirus. Many other tech and gaming conferences, including E3 and GDC, followed suit.

Read more: The best 5G phones of 2020